Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's note: President Obama has, like a lot of political types, played it somewhat coy on this issue of gay marriage. That’s the subject of my daily letter to the White House.
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing this on another beautiful and already hot early morning in New Orleans, just a few hours before I fly home to DC. Which is kind of a strange statement since I really still consider New Orleans home even though I have not lived here in a long time. I’ll bet you feel the same way about Chicago.
And I’ll be you wish you were back there every time this issue of gay marriage comes up. Oh yes, I’ve seen you and your team dancing on that hotplate lately! David Axelrod was sweating and stammering like one of those guys who has been picked up on COPS when he was questioned about your stance. I can’t blame him because it looks like you either haven’t actually decided what you think, or are desperately trying to hide your opinion on this one.
The problem is, of course, that the court ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8 has put the debate on the front burner again, so everyone wants to know what’s cooking in your kitchen. And you’re trying to play it both ways. Come on. I’m not being rude or insensitive to your position, but it is really obvious.
I mean, your team has said (or suggested…frankly you’re all over the map on this one) that you’re against Prop 8, but the states should decide such matters, but gays and lesbians should have the same rights as everyone else, but you’re against gay marriage, but, but, but…
I’ve seen how getting embroiled in these essentially moral issues can be disastrous for politicians. There is actually pretty good reason to steer clear of this matter. But I think you either have to really turn your back and say, “This is a matter to be decided by the states and I will not weigh in,” or…you have to weigh in. As it stands, it seems like you want credit for standing up for the rights of gay and lesbian Americans, but you don’t want to actually stand up for them.
Sure there is a lot of political risk in taking either stance. Everyone knows that. But what you are doing just looks spineless, wishy-washy, and like any old politician. And I know I’ve said this before, but you have to remember every day of your presidency that what got you elected was the promise that you would be different; you would say what you mean and mean what you say.
Now is the time to do that, whichever way you want to go.
As for me, I want to go to the airport. Enjoy the weekend. Call if you can.
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